Posted by: akalsaris | April 14, 2010

Lore Spotlight: Yondalla and Dallah Thaun: ‘Two sides of the same coin’

AkalSaris here with another bit of lore.  This time it’s from 3.5’s “Races of the Wild” on halflings.  One of the things that always puzzled me is that halflings are described as larcenous, good-humored chaotic, free-willed people, perfect for a CG rogue or bard.  But then their goddess is a stodgy LG goddess of protection and nurturing.  So what gives?  Well, Races of the Wild has a cool bit of lore that expands the halfling pantheon and gives Yondalla a twin sister: Dallah Thaun.  Normally I’m ambivalent towards racial deities (How many elven gods do you really NEED?), but I liked this one.

Dallah Thaun: Intermediate Goddess, CN.  Portfolio: Halflings, secrets, theft, acquisition of wealth, death.  Domains: Chaos, Knowledge, Luck, Trickery.

Yondalla and her other half, the trickster goddess Dallah Thaun.

How the halflings came to be: (retold by AkalSaris)

In the days when the world was still young, the gods began to fashion mortals to serve them.  First came the elves in the forests, then came the dwarves in the mountains.  Or perhaps it was the other way around – the two are still debating it today!  Next came the bestial orcs, and the humans, who got a bonus feat.  Still Yondalla couldn’t decide on what to make for her own followers. “I’ll take a trip!” she said to herself. “And I’ll see which one I like best!”

She liked the fey folk – the satyrs, the dryads, nymphs, and fairies.  She loved their playfulness and good humor, and most could fit into an overhead bin!  Yet they were frivolous and too chaotic to serve her.  Yondalla traveled on.  She loved the elves and their gracefulness, beauty, and wisdom.  But they took too damn long to do anything!  Yondalla traveled on.

Next she visited the dwarves.  Their pride in family and home gave her a warm, fuzzy feeling – but they were so dour and had too much body hair!  Yondalla traveled on. Next she visited the orcs – their boldness left her breathless and slightly blushing, but they were so darned evil!  Yondalla traveled on.

Last she visited the humans.  She liked what she saw: strength, cleverness, and flexibility.  But with their long legs, humans moved around so much that she couldn’t keep track of them!  She had reserved the plains for her people, but humans would have spread out of them within a mere century! Yondalla went home and thought about it.

Yondalla wanted a race with all of the qualities she had liked, but she wasn’t powerful enough to make one that perfect!  “But I could steal one!” she said excitedly.   That night, she crept over to the forests and kidnapped a pixie, silencing it with magic.  She then visited the elven city, and stole a tiny bit of its essence away, imparting the pixie with grace and agility, which grew several inches taller.  Then she stole some essence from the dwarven cities, and the pixie grew rounder (whoops!) and clung to her possessively, as though to a mother.

Next she snuck into the orcs’ encampment, and took an inch of their fearlessness.  The pixie grew still taller, and started looking around for any trouble it could get into.  Finally, she tossed the pixie into the human city, and gave the pixie a draught of their essence.  Immediately the transformed pixie wandered off from Yondalla, eager to make its own way in the world.  Yondalla was thrilled: she had made the perfect mortal creature!

But the other gods were angry.  “We worked long and hard to make our servants!” they said.  “Now my elves aren’t as agile!” said Corellon.  “And my dwarves sometimes leave their homes and families!” added Reorx.  “And my orcs show fear!” said Gruumsh with disgust!

“But…but I loved all your creations so much!” cried Yondalla earnestly.  “They were all so perfect, I couldn’t HELP taking a tiny little bit of them to make my own!”  The gods felt a little better after hearing this.  “Well, I suppose my elves were rather too tempting a target in their perfection,” said Corellon proudly.  “Bah!  The halflings take most after my dwarves!” replied Reorx, looking proud as a new father. “Hah! They’ll still never be as fearless as my orcs!” scorned Gruumsh.

Mollified, the gods decided to reduce Yondalla’s sentence.  She could keep the halflings, but they would have no land of their own, and must wander the lands of older races.  And Yondalla must remake herself to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.  So Yondalla took out her darker half – secrecy and theft – leaving only a motherly and caring figure of purest good.  The darker form of Yondalla became a separate goddess, Dallah Thaun, forever in the background, doing what needs to be done to help the halfling race survive in a hostile world.  And the halflings are still wandering today, serving Yondalla but with her original trickster spirit alive and well within them.  The End!

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Responses

  1. I noticed you used Reorx from Dragonlance while keeping with the Forgotten Realms/Greyhawk other deities. I can’t complain, I always felt that Reorx had more personality than “My name’s Moradin! I’m the god of the Dwarves!” I love gods that have character, personality, and flaws.


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